Ingredients

Buttercream Frosting: There are many recipes for buttercream frosting and this is Kelly Delaney’s favorite because it is easy to make and tastes great. She highly recommends it for decorating your cakes. Frosting is also available in grocery stores, but if you have the time you may wish to try making your own.

l pound unsalted butter at room temperature
2 1⁄2 cups sugar
6 large egg whites

Directions

1. Whip butter in a 5-quart bowl of an electric mixer until pale and fluffy, about 10 minutes. Set aside.
2. Combine the sugar and egg whites in another 5-quart bowl.
3. Set the sugar and egg whites bowl over a pot of barely simmering water (ban marie) and whisk constantly until sugar is dissolved and egg whites are warm (testing like a baby’s bottle, warm to touch on your wrist).
4. Remove from stove and whip on electric mixer on high speed until mixture forms stiff peaks.
5. Switch the whip attachment to a paddle attachment. Add whipped butter, a little at a time, mixing until well incorporated. (The longer you mix it, the lighter and better the buttercream is to work with.)

Note: The frosting can be made 72 hours in advance. Store in an airtight container at room temperature.

Recipe courtesy of Kelly Delaney, Cakes for Occasions, 2009.
This cake is perfect for a first birthday party. In this one cake, which is made to look like a large cupcake, Kelly Delaney of Cakes for Occasions shows you many of the basic cake decorating techniques you will use over and over again. It also has two tiers and enough butter cream frosting to satisfy even the most avid sweet tooth.

There are several techniques demonstrated here that you will be able to use in many cake decorating situations. The first is the process of cutting a center out of a cake and putting in a cream filling. Although the filling is not seen from the outside it provides a pleasant surprise when the cake is cut. Another technique is leveling a cake by cutting off the top before covering it with frosting.

Skim coating a cake before frosting it is a good idea. To skim coat, apply a little frosting and spread around to cover cake with a thin layer of frosting. Tip: You skim coat the cake so that cake crumbs do not pull up when you got to frost your cake and since we will be applying colored frosting to the cake, the colors will not bleed through. You can skim coat your cake a day ahead of when you are frosting your cake and leave it in the fridge.

Since this is a two-tiered cake the second tier needs to be supported, otherwise it would crush the bottom layer. In order to avoid this, you use wooden dowels, which can be obtained in most hardware stores. Tip: You want your dowel the thickness of a pencil.
Kelly shows how to measure the first dowel in the center of the bottom cake, and then cut three more dowels of equal length to support the top cake layer. One tip is to soak the dowels before cutting so that they will cut easier. 

Another technique is creating a border for both the bottom and top tiers of the cake. Tip: When decorating with multiple colors, use your light colors first and then finish with your darker colors for impact.
Cupcake Cake
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